Apr 07


About HRC though — if her presidency is as amateurish as her campaigning, we are in deep trouble.

Seriously, has an assured win ever been managed so poorly? She basically had to do absolutely nothing to win the presidency in a walk. Instead she bought a couple of revolvers and a speedloader and began merrily shooting herself in both feet.

She’d’ve been better off not campaigning at all than this mess that’s all her own doing.

Has there ever been a worse-campaigning Democratic front-runner?

In the future, linguists and lexicographers will put her face beside the phrase “snatching defeat from the jaws of victory” in idiomatic dictionaries.

Apr 07

Poe you know

I watched the Argentinean movie Relatos Salvajes tonight.

Very good. If you like Poe translated into the modern, you’ll enjoy this film. None of the stories are Poe’s directly, but his influence drips from the tales like blood only you can see.

There aren’t nearly enough anthology movies out there, and this is a fine one. Recommended.

Apr 06

In praise of one thing

Though start-up culture is a delusional, discriminatory bro-fest in many was, one aspect that I like about it is that there is little to no concept of “paying your dues.”

I know this first-hand — I worked for a start-up briefly in the late 90s.

I saw a promising job ad online and applied with no real hope of getting a call-back. But I did get that call and according to them, “blew them away” with my writing sample — so much so that they didn’t believe someone could compose something so polished so quickly. They had me draft another sample in person right in front of them, which luckily for me turned out even better than the first.

I was hired on the spot with the title “lead writer.” I had just turned twenty-three years old. I had no college degree, and though I had been a photojournalist for five years already I’d never been lead writer anywhere.

This was a fairly well-capitalized startup and my compensation was large. It wasn’t one of those “make crap for pay and it’ll be all in stock later, *wink, wink*” deals. They were not exploiting me; I would not equal my earnings there for another 15 years in my workaday career.

And of course here is no chance at all that I’d’ve been hired at any other “established” company for a similar role or with similar pay, no matter how great my writing skills. I had not paid my dues, you see, so no matter how good I am (and I was and am very good), my merit means nothing to most companies.

Though start-ups aren’t actually a meritocracy, at least the idea of that makes a difference sometimes.

But alas the start-up wanted me to move to Minneapolis (not stated when I accepted the job), which I had absolutely no intention of doing so I left after less than six months.

The whole idea of “paying your dues” means that the mediocre leverage time in place to advance, while the better people are shunted to the side (or self-shunt out of frustration).

This leads to “bozo explosion” in many companies.

No, start-ups aren’t perfect. But only a start-up would’ve (and did) hire someone fresh out of the army with no college degree in a lead writer role. I was great in the role, too, but certainly was not moving to Minneapolis for any amount of money or fancy title.

As for the start-up, it had a poor grasp on the direction the fast-changing internet was heading and went out of business two years later.

Apr 05

And grooving

Fun fact: Since my 17th birthday, I’ve never lived in a single place for more than 1.5 years.

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve moved, but somewhere around 20. Maybe more.

For many years of my life, I owned compared to most Americans almost nothing due to moving so often.

Apr 05


Won’t these old dumbasses just die already?


Like Scalzi (omitting any on his list), off the top of my head:

James Tiptree, Jr. (Alice Sheldon)
Kelly Link
Doris Dungey (Tanta)
Harper Lee
Vanessa Veselka
Annie Dillard
Adrienne Rich
Molly Crabapple
Margaret Atwood
Maya Angelou (prose, don’t care for her poetry, like written by a completely different person)
Ellen Willis
Shulamith Firestone
Andrea Dworkin (don’t agree with all of her views, but her writing sizzles like bacon grease on a too-hot griddle)
Rebecca Solnit
Jo Walton

That’s the ones I can think of in a few seconds. There are more. What the hell is wrong with men like Talese?

Apr 04

Hill to climb

Hillary Clinton will probably make a competent — for a neoliberal — president. Standard issue warmonger, etc.

But damn is she ever a terrible campaigner and her own worst enemy.

Apr 04

Third degree

I know it’s because a college degree is at least 60% (if not more) an achievement designed for signalling that you are the right social class and other second-order signalling effects, but it’s too bad that there is no path at all for autodidacts.

I figure there are about 10 degrees I could take some sort of equivalent achievement test with about 3 months of hard studying and pass easily — things like sociology, anthropology, English, etc. Both because I’ve read most of the relevant works/textbooks in these fields and because they are mostly non-mathematical at the undergrad level.

This has nothing to do directly with how smart I am or not, but just annoyance that people like me are automatically punished for not wanting to waste so much time and very much money for so little (that we’ve already gotten ourselves).

Apr 03


Etymologies. Even in official sources many are often wrong or at least highly suspect. Often even many of the corrections and refutations are unsound or are little better than urban legends.

Language has a strange and twisted history and just because something seems to be obvious, doesn’t mean that it’s actually the case.

Apr 02

Always surprised

I’m always surprised by how naive Kevin Drum is, and how willing he is to shit on millennials. Of course, he supports Hillary because he is depending on and supportive of the inegalitarian governmental and financial coddling of older generations. For this reason it is almost required that such an ex ante status quo supporter be a Clintonista as it is hugely in his privileged interest that she win because a terrible and unthinkable tragedy like his house falling 5% in value might occur if she doesn’t.

But in this article, he really just has no clue about why millennials are voting in such overwhelming numbers for Bernie Sanders. The stats he gathered are useless for discovering that — and many things can’t be found in stats at all.

However, if Drum had bothered looking any deeper than the shallow puddle of his insight, he could’ve examined job tenure numbers for a starter. The Forbes piece frames job-hopping as a choice, but most of the time it’s not — it’s lay-offs, being replaced with H-1bs, being forced to move from bad job to bad job and city to city to survive.

Or Drum could’ve taken a gander at housing costs and how millennials often can’t afford to buy or rent. In 1960, for instance, it was easily possible to afford the average apartment in nearly any city with a part-time job.

There is nowhere in the US where this is now possible. Nowhere with jobs, at least.

The three things that are most vital to establishing a good life are now out of reach or very, very expensive for most millennials: housing, education and reliable health care (no, the ACA didn’t really help with this).

In addition, what jobs exist are far more precarious, more demanding and less reliable than what their parents or grandparents knew.

And outside of the stats (which actually matter more than the numbers, as stats are always post hoc), it’s clear that climate change is going to absolutely torpedo their lives, as it won’t the Boomers because they’ll all be dead by then.

The millennials are perfectly aware that the Boomers have been for decades and are currently looting the future while destroying the planet, and then telling the younger generations (as Drum does) that they are entitled and ungrateful if they object to these facts.

Doesn’t take a damn genius to see why they vote against someone like Clinton who is promising more of the same, with some added unnecessary wars thrown in.

Or for something more concise if you are dismissive of my massive missive, check out this tweet from a friend of mine that explains it all pretty well.